Nighthawks Fly Past Mountaineers in Softball Twin-Bill

BOSTON, MA. - The Southern Vermont softball team dropped both games of a double header, as they were swept by Newbury College, 9-1 and 8-6 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action, Sunday afternoon.

Sophomore shortstop Katie Haney (Winchendon, Mass.) went three-for-eight with a double and two RBIs while scoring four runs from the top of the Nighthawk order.
In game one of the twin-bill, the Nighthawks capitalized on two Mountaineer miscues in the home half of the first to take a three-run lead. After junior centerfielder Theresa Hylinski (Stratford, Conn.) led off the inning with a walk, Haney ripped, her first of three base-hits on the day, back where it came from as Hylinski got on her horse and cruised into third. Moments later, Hylinski came into score the first run of the ballgame on the back-end of a double-steal, swiping home while Haney advanced into scoring position with her third steal of the season.
First year third baseman Kaitlin McLaughlin (Dorchester, Mass.) continued to keep the pressure on the Mountaineers reaching on an error by third baseman Brianne Nichols (Colonie, N.Y.) to plate Haney for Newbury's second run. Two batters later, starter Rebecca Roach (Charlton, Mass.) helped her own cause lining a one-out single into centerfield to bring home McLaughlin for the third and final run of the frame.
However, Southern Vermont got a run back a half inning later. Mountaineer starter Hayley McDonald (Latham, N.Y.) drove a one-out single to the opposite field then moved up two bases on an error by the right fielder. After first year infielder Marissa Flores (Azusa, Calif.) grounded out for the second out the inning, first year left fielder Haley Morgan (Adams, Mass.) kept the inning alive for Southern Vermont reaching on an error as McDonald came in the back door with the Mountaineers first run of the ballgame.  But that was all Southern Vermont was able to muster as Roach minimized the damage and struck out the next batter to end the threat.
The Nighthawks got the run right back in the bottom of the second before scoring again in the third but it was all Roach would need as she tossed a complete game six innings allowing just one unearned run while scattering four this and striking out two.
Southern Vermont jumped on the board first in the second game of the double-header, plating two runs in the top of the second inning but Newbury responded in the home half with three runs of their own.
First year third baseman Julia Flamenco (Copiague, N.Y.) lined a double that just hugged the leftfield line to lead off the inning then came into score when Mountaineer leftfielder Tasha Smith (Capital Heights, Md.) lost track of a ball off the bat of Roach. From there the wheels seemed to fall of for Southern Vermont.
Following back-to-back walks to first year second baseman Nicole Cuneo (Norton, Mass.) and senior catcher Ariel Ross (Gales Ferry, Conn.) to load the bases, McDonald let up a run on an illegal pitch allowing Roach to tie  the game. Two batters later, fellow senior Teressa Farioli (East Longmeadow, Mass.) reached on a fielder's choice then swiped her fourth bag of the season on a double steal with Ross coming in the back door with the third run of the inning and give the Nighthawks the 3-2 lead.
It remained a one-run game before the Mountaineers tied up the ballgame in the top of the fifth. Senior shortstop Alyssa Davis (Lyndonville, Vt.)  led off the frame lining a single up the middle against Cuneo, who came on in the fourth in relief of Roach, then got herself into scoring position swiping second. Two batters later, with Smith at the plate and Nichols at first, following a walk, Davis caught the Nighthawks off guard with her second steal of the inning. She did not stop running and scored on an error by the pitcher to tie the score.
After Newbury responded and re-gained the lead pushing across three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a three-run, 6-3 lead, the Mountaineers answered, plating three runs.
With the score tied for the second time in the game, the Nighthawks came through in the clutch in the bottom of the sixth. Ross worked a lead-off walk before junior leftfielder Audrey Spataro (El Paso, Texas) laid down a perfectly placed bunt single to give the Nighthawks first and second with nobody out. After Eldridge made a magnificent running grab on a pop-up from Farioli for the first out of the inning, Hylinski lined a single back where it came from to score Ross to give the Nighthawks the lead back.
But Newbury was not done yet. Although Spataro was caught in a run-down trying to reach third on Hylinski's base-hit for the second out of the inning, Haney came through with a hard-hit groundball towards shortstop driving in Hylinski, to give the Nighthawks an insurance run – which they would not need.
Newbury improves to 8-24 and 6-9 in the conference with the victory while Southern Vermont falls to 4-30 and 1-15 in the NECC. The Mountaineers return to the diamond Friday when they travel to MCLA before they host Wheelock Saturday for senior day.